Our courses include practical courses and theory courses.
During the practical sailing courses, participants learn boat handling, sailing, practical navigation and skippering skills.
Theory courses complement practical sailing courses by providing background knowledge in navigation, seamanship, and safety.
The Course Outlines are shown below in three sections:
- Practical Sailing Courses, The Association of Sailing Instructors in Finland, PORY
- Theory courses on navigation, seamanship, and safety, The Royal Yachting Association, RYA
- Special courses, both practical and theory. Special courses include both practical and shorebased courses. Purpose of special courses is to provide additional knowledge and skills to support the core theory and practical courses.
Practical Sailing Courses
Practical sailing courses include three certified sailing courses: Sailing Crew, Inshore Skipper, and Coastal Skipper.
These courses are specified in the PORY sail training system which is externally audited by the Traffic Safety Agency (Traficom) in Finland. Purjehduksenopettajat PORY ry is a Finnish sailing instructors association that maintains and develops sail training system, and runs courses for sailing instructors. Course completion certificate of the Coastal Skipper course can be used as a proof of practical sailing skills when applying for the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) from Traficom.
Sailing Crew is a sailing course for beginners: no previous sailing experience or navigation theory knowledge is required before taking the course. The course provides skills to be a useful crew member on a sailboat. Minimum duration of the course is 32 hours.
Focus of the course: knowledge of terms; ropework; sail handling, boat handling; steering; introduction to collision regulations, weather forecasts; safety
Inshore Skipper sailing course provides skills to skipper a cruising yacht in familiar waters. Minimum duration of the course is 32 hours.
Pre-course requirements: sailing experience as a crew member; theory knowledge up to Date Skipper Theory or Inshore Navigation level. Recommended minimum pre-course practical sailing experience is 100 M.
Focus of the course: preparations before going to sea; deck work; boat handling under power and sail; navigation; collision regulations; weather; emergency situations; skippering skills
Coastal Skipper sailing course provides skills to skipper a cruising yacht in coastal passages during day and night. Minimum duration of the course is 32 hours.
Pre-course requirements: sailing experience as a crew member and as a skipper; theory knowledge up to Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Offshore Theory or Coastal Navigation level. Recommended minimum pre-course practical sailing experience is 300 M.
Focus of the course: passage planning and passage making; ability as skipper; preparation for sea; boat handling under power and sail; navigation also during night; adverse weather conditions; emergency situations
Special Practical Courses
- Introduction to sailing. This is for beginners to give a taste of sailing and cruising lifestyle.
- Practical navigation. How all the navigation theories are put into practice.
- Boat handling techniques.
- Sailing tactics and sail trimming. Wind awareness and deciding how to reach a destination; sail trimming along the way
- Skippering a cruising yacht. Understanding, prioritizing and implementing skippering tasks
- Separately agreed custom theme
Before going for sea, a passage plan and individual exercise plans are made.
Sail-a-Day course is nominally an 8-hour course during one day or two evenings.
Theory courses provide background knowledge for practical sailing and motor boating. Theory courses can be used to prove theory knowledge when applying in Finland for the International Certificate of Competence (ICC).
RYA theory courses on navigation, seamanship, and safety
Start your learning path with the leading international training organisation for yachting.
RYA Day Skipper Theory
1 Nautical terms: Parts of a boat and hull; general nautical terminology
2 Ropework: Knowledge of the properties of synthetic ropes in common use
3 Anchorwork: Characteristics of different types of anchor; factors to take into account when anchoring
4 Safety: Knowledge of the safety equipment to be carried, its stowage and use; fire precautions and fire fighting; use of personal safety equipment, harnesses and lifejackets; ability to send a distress signal by VHF radio; basic knowledge of rescue procedures including helicopter rescue; stability
5 International Regulations for Preventing Collision at Sea: Steering and sailing rules (5, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12-19); general rules (all other rules)
6 Definition of Position, Course and Speed: Latitude and longitude; knowledge of standard navigational terms; true bearings and courses; the knot
7 Navigational Charts and Publications: Information shown on charts, chart symbols, and representation of direction and distance; navigational publications in common use; chart correction
8 Navigational Drawing Instruments: Use of parallel rulers, dividers and proprietary plotting devices
9 Compass: Application of variation; awareness of deviation and its causes; use of hand-bearing compass
10 Chartwork and Navigation – Traditional and Electronic: Dead reckoning and estimated position including an awareness of leeway: techniques of visual fixing; use of GNSS and chart plotters for position fixing; use of waypoints to fix position; course to steer
11 Tides and tidal streams: Tidal definitions, levels and datum; tide tables; Use of Admiralty method of determining tidal height at standard port; awareness of corrections for secondary ports; use of tidal diamonds and tidal stream atlases for chartwork
12 Visual Aids to Navigation: Lighthouses and beacons, light characteristics
13 Meteorology: Sources of broadcast meteorological information; knowledge of terms used in shipping forecasts, including the Beaufort Scale, and their significance to small craft; basic knowledge of highs, lows and fronts
14 Passage Planning: Preparation of navigational plan for short coastal passages; meteorological considerations in planning short coastal passages; use of and visual confirmation of waypoints on passage; importance of confirmation of position by an independent source; keeping a navigational record
15 Navigation in Restricted Visibility: Precautions to be taken in, and limitations imposed by, fog
16 Pilotage: Use of transits, leading lines and clearing lines; IALA system of buoyage (Regions A & B); use of sailing directions; pilotage plans and harbour entry
17 Marine Environment: Responsibility for avoiding pollution and protecting the marine environment
RYA Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Offshore Theory
1 Position: Dead reckoning and estimated position; satellite-derived position; use of waypoints to fix position; radar fixes; techniques of visual fixing; fixes using a mixture of position lines; relative accuracy of different methods of position fixing; areas of uncertainty
2 The Magnetic Compass: Allowance for variation; change of variation with time and position; causes of deviation; compass checks for deviation, but not correction; allowance for deviation; different types of compass
3 Tides: Causes of tides – springs and neaps; tide tables – sources; tide levels and datum; standard and secondary ports; tidal anomalies (Solent, etc.)
4 Tidal Streams: Sources of tidal information; tidal stream information in sailing directions and yachtmen’s almanacs; allowance for tidal streams in computing a course to steer; tide rips, overfalls and races; tidal observation buoys, beacons etc.
5 Buoyage: IALA system buoyage in Region A; limitations of buoys as navigational aids
6 Lights: Characteristics; ranges – visual, luminous and nominal; rising and dipping distances; light lists
7 Pilotage: Harbour regulations and control signals; methods of pre-planning; clearing lines; use of soundings; transits and leading lines
8 GNSS and Chart Plotters: Principles of operation and limitations of use; raster and vector charts; datum; the importance of secondary means position fixing via an independent source and keeping a separate record of position; the importance of paper charts
9 Echo Sounders: Principles of operation and limitations of use
10 Logs (Speed and Distance Measuring): Principles of operation and limitations of use
11 Deck Log: The importance of log as yacht’s official document; layout of log, hourly and occasional entries
12 Meteorology: Basic terms, the Beaufort Scale; air masses; cloud types; weather patterns associated with pressure and frontal systems; sources of weather forecast; ability to interpret a shipping forecast, weatherfax and weather satellite information; land and sea breezes; sea fog; use of barometer as a forecasting aid
13 Rules of the Road: A sound knowledge of the International Regulations for Preventing Collision at Sea, except Annexes 1 and 3
14 Safety at Sea: Personal safety, use of life jackets, safety harnesses and lifelines; fire prevention and fire fighting; distress signals; Coastguard and Boat Safety Scheme; preparation for heavy weather; life rafts and helicopter rescue; understanding of capabilities of vessel and basic knowledge of stability
15 Navigation in Restricted Visibility: Precautions to be taken in fog; limitations to safe navigation imposed by fog; navigation strategy in poor visibility
16 Passage Planning: Preparation of charts and notebook for route planning and for use on passage at sea; Customs regulations as they apply to yachts; routine for navigating in coastal waters; strategy for course laying; use of and visual confirmation of waypoints and routes; use of weather forecast information for passage planning strategy; sources of local and national regulations
17 Marine Environment: The responsibility to minimize pollution and protect the marine environment
Theory courses based on a Finnish training system
We run theory courses adapted from SNOP (Navigation Instructors in Finland) training system. The training system is externally audited by TRAFICOM (Finnish Transport and Communications Agency).
Inshore Skipper Theory
The Inshore Skipper theory course:
- Provides background knowledge to skipper a yacht (sail and motor) on inshore waters.
- It is for non-tidal sea areas, such as the Baltic Sea.
- It is an accepted theory course for students taking the Inshore Skipper practical sailing course, which is part of Finland’s PORY sail training system.
- It addresses special topics for Finland: Training charts, publications, and regulations.
- The course blends classroom teaching, online learning, and doing the exercises. The total time to complete the coursework is about 40 hours.
- The course exam is the Navigation 1 exam, part of a certified FinnishTraining System (SNOP).
The main subjects of the course include:
- Charts and publications
- Visual aids to navigation
- Magnetic compass
- Position fixing
- Electronic navigation
- International Regulations for Preventing Collision at Sea
- Finnish regulations
- Passage planning
Coastal Skipper Theory
Special Theory Courses
Marine VHF Radio
The goals of the one day course are:
- to review radio communications and systems for providing a context for marine VHF radios
- to give practical guidance on how to use the marine VHF radio
- to prepare to take the SRC (Short Range Certificate) exam in Finland
Start Boating Theory
RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship
Celestial Navigation theory
Celestial navigation, also called astronavigation, is a fascinating topic to learn. Motivations for learning celestial navigation are many, such as
- historical evolution of the method
- as a theoretical subject; how it works
- part of navigator’s toolbox; astronavigation complements electronic navigation and traditional chartwork navigation
- it can be an emergency method at open sea
- in longer offshore passages, it can be part of the daily routines
- exploring the sky is entertaining
One does not have to be an ocean navigator to enjoy learning celestial navigation; everyone can find something in the subject.
- to provide minimal but covering background theory
- to keep the work process as simple as possible
- to select methods practiced by international mainstream
- The aim is to cover a full scope of topics while spending more time on the most important ones
Brief celestial navigation theory
Position fixing and plotting sheet
Sextant and altitude measurement
Concepts related to time
Sun meridian passage
Latitude by Polaris
Selected stars fix, SRT Vol. 1
Checking for deviation